• Francesca Morgan Dissects the American Obsession with Genealogy

    by Thomas Laqueur

    Questions about how Americans practice genealogy are in some ways less interesting that questions about why they do; all genealogies are ways of constructing pasts that explain and justify the present, and in America they are impossible to disentangle from racism. 

  • Should the Census Consider Latinos a "Race"?

    by Geraldo Cadava

    Although major Latino civil rights organizations have endorsed a proposal to combine two census questions and make "Hispanic or Latino" a racial category. Afro-Latino/a advocates say that this would make it impossible to evaluate internal divisions around skin color and ancestry. 

  • Where Did the Term “Hispanic” Come From?

    The designation "Hispanic" came about through the desire of Mexican American civil rights organizations to gather authoritative data about the status of the group in society. The political work engaged Puerto Rican, Cuban American, and other allies, bringing distinct ethnic groups under a common identifier. 

  • What makes a Latino?

    He is being hailed with pride and wonder as the “first Latino pope,” a native Spanish speaker born and raised in the South American nation of Argentina. But for some Latinos in the United States, there’s a catch: Pope Francis’ parents were born in Italy.Such recent European heritage is reviving debate in the United States about what makes someone a Latino. Those questioning whether their idea of Latino identity applies to Pope Francis acknowledge that he is Latin American, and that he is a special inspiration to Spanish-speaking Catholics around the world. Yet that, in their eyes, does not mean the pope is “Latino.”These views seem to be in the minority. But they have become a distinct part of the conversation in the United States as the Latino world contemplates this unique man and moment.—”Are Italians Latino? No,” says Eric Cortes, who has been debating the issue with his friends....

  • Chauncey DeVega: No, Jesus Wasn't White

    Chauncey DeVega is editor and founder of the blog We Are Respectable Negroes, which has been featured by the NY Times, the Utne Reader, and The Atlantic Monthly. Writing under a pseudonym, Chauncey DeVega's essays on race, popular culture, and politics have appeared in various books, as well as on such sites as the Washington Post's The Root and PopMatters. The History Channel miniseries “The Bible” is one of the most popular TV shows in recent memory. “The greatest story ever told” seems to have much life left in it....